POS Automated Membership Schemes Make Winery and Cellar Door Clubs Easy

Up to the minute point of sale systems have full loyalty toolkits bundled in. Powerful customer databases, sms, email and campaign functionality make reward schemes easy to set up and run.

Treating members as special and rewarding for loyalty and recognizing preferences is key to repeat business. Once you know the profile of every customer, what they order, buying habits, it is much easier to target loyal customers with specific promotions. Knowing customer preference also helps the overall design of membership or wine club schemes.

Automating the issue of rewards helps make loyalty schemes easy to run and more appealing to join. A menu of rewards can be planned out and precisely targeted via the POS system. Text or email makes communicating with customers easy. Staff also become more confident suggesting customers join.

A POS integrated customer database stores customer profile data and purchasing habits. Promotional tools help compile rewards as simple as a birthday voucher, personal discounts, exclusive promotions or more complex cumulative purchase schemes.

Reward issue can be triggered automatically by customer behavior, membership status, product specials or other selected variables. Communication can be via a pre-defined email template, sms message or mailout letter.

By tracking the purchasing history by customers, membership schemes using points, card or other cumulative purchase schemes are all possible.

Targeted email and sms messages are a newer, simpler way to communicate. Vineyards can shift aged stock or promote high margin products i.e. New wines matching their tastes or news of forthcoming events.

Detailed profile data also lends itself to ‘soft rewards’ which front of house staff can offer. Recognition and the best seat in the house costs nothing but has high value in the eyes of the customer.

Impulse purchases can also be encouraged with instant reward vouchers printed at point of sale. Vouchers can be targeted to specific customers, promote future events, multiple purchase discounts or prize draw tickets for members.

All of this membership activity can be linked with the wider day to day operation of the vineyard or cellar door. Integrated POS systems can cope with the many diverse business requirements of a venue. Every function is usually included to manage stock control, staff, memberships, reservation, table layouts and menu design.

Fully configurable screen layouts and business processes can usually be tailored to exactly match each business’s unique operations. Menu design, table layouts, touch screen layouts, user defined reporting are all flexible, bespoke to each venue’s day to day operations.

Massive inventory lists are easier to manage with PDA integrated stock control modules. Powerful inventory control clearly shows what’s in stock, what’s on order, purchasing history and future. Supplier activity is tracked in full and re-orders set automatically to pre-defined stock level. Any stock variances are reporting in real time and stock takes can be run quickly with a PDE during trade hours.

Suites of standard reports allow management to analyze precise data on hourly sales, discounts, cancellations, voids, account payments and many more stats from the night before. Even though staffs are trusted, full variance reporting and wristband logos give owners and manager full transparency in case of any issues. If cctv is integrated with the POS system, video images can be overlaid with live transaction data offering irrefutable evidence of variances or incidents.

Other newer technologies make order taking and processing management quick inside and outdoors. Same screen and operating logic touch screens and handhelds cut down on staff training. Handhelds or mobile POS terminals also reduce order transmission errors and keep staff out on the floor selling.

Paddle and coaster pagers can be directly integrated with the POS system to service wine terraces or beer gardens. Long range paging systems and handheld devices maintain first class service levels in the furthest away beer gardens and usually pay for themselves quickly with incremental orders taken

POS systems built on a solid scalable architecture can manage group vineyard operations. Reporting, menus, stock, screen layouts and pricing are centrally managed and controlled. Roll-out of POS terminals and software is modular and quick as new venues come on stream. Consolidated reporting at head office level gives staff a complete view of operations and drill down capability to venue level.


Why Now Could Be the Time to Grow Your Business

When the economy takes a downturn, people tend to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst. This is not unwise. After all, if you are prepared to weather the storm, then you can come out on the other side ready to enjoy the pleasures and profits of the newly emerged, “sunny” economy. However, this is only the ideal conclusion, and the sad truth is that most people who hit the cellar for the tumultuous weather end up drowning their business in the process.

In truth, a “slow” economy can be the best time to grow your business. You have probably heard people on the radio and news networks discussing how they “refuse to participate in the recession.” Surprisingly enough, for many of them this appears to be working. On the other hand, you may be thinking, the people for whom this strategy is not working probably are not on television! And you are right. There are some businesses that are ideally suited to growth in these uncertain times, while others are not. You need to determine if the times are right for you before you invest in growth in your business.

Here are some things to consider:

· Is your product or service evergreen?

This means that people always need your service. Preferably, it is something that they cannot do without (or that they believe that they cannot do without). This includes basic home maintenance services like plumbing and roof repair, as well as many food items and basic forms of entertainment.

· Have other business’ troubles created an opening for you?

When people start cutting back on eating out, fast food chains prosper. This is because you can feed an entire family at Wendy’s for the cost of one entrée at a mid-range restaurant. Similarly, when the housing market sinks, people start investing in making their own homes better. This is why many painting and home remodeling businesses are thriving even though contractors and builders are suffering. If your business is in this type of niche, then now might be the time to expand.

· Do you have the means?

Success in business sometimes requires taking risks. It also can involve financial outlay. However, you need hard research to back up any loans or other extensions that you make. Do not simply start spending because you feel that the time is right. Evaluate every expense carefully and do not spend a penny where you do not see on paper that it should generate returns.

For many people, now is the time to act. Competitors are going under, and there are vast holes opening up in many areas of business. Just be sure that you are involved in the right arena before you start building and growing.

And remember, market creatively, carefully and often!

Starting a Painting Business

Ask yourself what exactly that you want from your business. Do you want to turn your back on the world and just paint to your heart’s content? Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want freedom? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you like the idea of being an entrepreneur? Do you want lots of people working for you? How about taking month long vacations? If any of these things appeal to you then read on.

What do you need to know to start? If you say not much, just a ladder and a brush, you will be in business for only a short time. Do you need years and years of experience as a painter? That will make you a good painter but not a good business owner. What about having knowledge of business practices? You definitely will learn business procedures by just being in business, so why not learn these things early on? What about salesmanship? If you want to be like most painting businesses that fail, then don’t bother to learn anything about sales. How about having management skills? An absolute necessity is having management skills.

Now another question for you is how do you learn these things? Do you ask the clerk at the paint store, who probably will bend your ear about starting a business? It’s too bad this chatterbox doesn’t know anything, and a dead giveaway to the clerk’s lack of knowledge of the painting business is the fact that this clerk is standing behind the counter and not running his own business. Or even a painter who works for someone else but has never had the courage to venture out and actually try standing on his own. I could go down a list of those people who will tell you what you need to operate including the little old lady down the street who hired a painter once to paint her cellar, and is not an expert on the business.

Before you risk poisoning your mind with garbage from people who have no experience running a paint business, and will tell you all their thoughts on this subject, take some time to slow down and do a little research. Only absorb the information from someone who has succeeded for more than ten years. Why ten years you ask; because the majority of paint contractors fail in the first ten years. So someone who has serviced and prospered for more than ten years has good things to tell you.